Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Recipe From First Lady Michelle Obama's New Book 'American Grown' - Minted Spring Pea Salad

A zesty, healthy dish using one of the first Spring crops...
UPDATE, May 29: CLICK HERE for a full post about the book
Tips for growing gardens of all sizes and recipes created by the White House chefs are included in First Lady Michelle Obama's forthcoming book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America scheduled for release from Crown Publishing on Tuesday, May 29th. (Above: a photo from the book of Mrs. Obama and First Dog Bo in her Kitchen Garden)

The White House has been issuing recipes since March of 2009 (the very first was for No Cream Creamed Spinach), and American Grown includes new recipes as well as previously released ones. But for the first time, the White House recipes are accompanied by lovely professional photographs of the completed dishes. The recipe below, for Minted Spring Pea Salad, created by Executive Chef Cris Comerford, is new for Mrs. Obama's book. (Above: The cover)

Many varieties of peas, including heritage varieties, have been grown in the 34 boxed beds that make up the 1,500 square-foot Kitchen Garden, which Mrs. Obama first planted in April of 2009. A wide variety of herbs, including mint, are also grown, as are the leeks and shallots that are included in the recipe below. The recipe requires cooking the peas, the use of an ice bath, and a blender. It serves 6-8, depending on portion size. Check the sidebar of the blog for all previously released White House recipes.

CLICK HERE for an excerpt from American Grown.

Minted Spring Pea Salad

2 1/2 Cups shelled fresh green peas

1 small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 small leek, cleaned, white part only, thinly sliced

1/2 Cup shredded fresh mint leaves

1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pour the peas into the water and cook for no more than 2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge the peas into a bowl of ice water. Drain and pat dry with a towel. Puree ½ cup of the peas in a blender.

2. Place the peas, pea puree, shallot and leek in a medium, nonreactive bowl and toss gently to combine.

3. Add the lemon zest and juice, olive oil and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss gently until the vegetables are coated.

Serve immediately. Serves 6-8, depending on portion size.

*Photos courtesy of Crown Publishing, by Quentin Bacon, who photographed most of the book. Reprinted from American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America by Michelle Obama. Copyright © 2012 by the National Park Foundation. Published by Crown, a division of Random House, Inc.